Solar Eclipse Eye Safety


Perhaps you’ve heard there will be a partial eclipse of the sun in Hannibal on Monday, August 21 beginning at 11:40 am and ending at 2:34 pm.  If you wish to observe the phenomenon, you will need eclipse glasses or an approved safety filter in order to protect your eyes.  Approved eclipse glasses or safety filters are ones which meet the International Standard ISO13212-2.  It is important to have the filters or glasses in place before looking at the sun in order to avoid permanent damage to your eyes.  The maximum eclipse begins at 1:06 pm and ends at 1:09 pm.  Don’t look directly at the sun and don’t wear your eclipse glasses or filters while driving.

If your glasses or filters meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard you may look at the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through them as long as you wish without risk of damage to your eyes.  Be sure to inspect your glasses or filter to make sure they aren’t damaged before viewing the eclipse.

A view of the total eclipse can be experienced if you are located within the seventy mile-wide band that extends from St. Joseph to St. Genevieve in the state of Missouri.  Totality will last for 2 minutes and 38 seconds and begins at the time of the maximum eclipse.  Eclipse glasses can be obtained from vendors on the internet and various retailers may also have them available.  Helpful websites for understanding the eclipse include: American Astronomical Society (; NASA (

Be safe and enjoy the eclipse, it’s only days away from occuring, and after that the next eclipse won’t happen for several years.

By Kent Wolber, OD